One of the most popular activities for youth in America is participating in sports leagues. In addition to skill building in that particular sport, youth leagues can also be effective in teaching values of sportsmanship, respect, and competition.
While some of these sports are relatively inexpensive, there are just as many that can nearly bankrupt a family if they arenâ€™t careful. For example, basketball involves the purchasing of shoes, maybe some athletic apparel, and a ball. By contrast, a sport like baseball requires the use of a lot of special equipment; especially, if you play more than one position.
Additionally, select and traveling teams are gaining popularity as they are more effective at skill building, and offer the opportunity to be seen by college scouts and coaches. These teams typically cost much more than your average recreational league. Those costs combined with the cost of purchasing equipment can have adverse effects on a familyâ€™s finances. However, by shopping online and being aware of future necessary purchases, these issues can be offset.
The first way to save on youth sports equipment, is to simply shop online. While retail stores do provide the ability to pick something up quick, they also come with plenty of drawbacks. Equipment from sporting goods stores often carry drastic mark-ups that have families paying far more than they need to. In addition, they offer a small selection which could be an issue if they are out of a piece of equipment, or a size that someone may need.
The solution to this is to shop online sporting good outlets that cut out the drawbacks of visiting a retail store. By using sites like Homerun Monkey, shoppers can cut out huge mark-ups, which allows them to save on all equipment. Online stores combine lower prices with a huge selection of items in almost any size, color, or style one can think of.
Another plus when shopping online for sporting equipment is special deals and offers that wouldnâ€™t be seen in a retail outlet. While they might have sales intermittently, online stores routinely offer free shipping deals, as well as clearance on year old models of equipment. Finally, online stores are a great way to buy things in bulk like athletic tape or other accessories essential to that sport. The one drawback would be having to wait for the order to arrive at your doorstep, but that can be avoided too by keeping the future of the child in mind.
Another way to save big on sporting equipment, is to be aware of what is coming in the future. Children grow, and this forces more purchases to keep the child involved in that sport. The lower prices of shopping online, makes it more feasible to buy things ahead of time and have them when the child needs them. Also, specifications of equipment will change as the age and competition levels rise. For example, baseball bats must be certain weights and made out of certain materials as players grow older.
Additionally, the cheap glove that you got in middle school, probably wonâ€™t cut it on the varsity baseball team. As children move from lower- skill recreational leagues, to traveling teams, equipment has to become more reliable and less prone to breaking or getting damaged. By understanding what the child will need as they grow older, people can keep an eye out for special sales, which can help save hundreds of dollars in the future.
Finally, the oldest trick in the book: buy it big, let them grow into it. This is especially true for younger players that put less emphasis on looking â€œcoolâ€ while playing. This is helpful for apparel like baseball pants, basketball shoes, and other things of that same nature. While buying things big canâ€™t completely eliminate the need to purchase sporting equipment, it could save you a few years before having to make another big purchase.
Feeling Clever? Join our newsletter!
Subscribe to get the latest from "Clever Dude."